Opened 19 Sep 2008
Written: Adapted for the stage by Dan Gordon based on the MGM motion picture, story by Barry Morrow
Directed: Terry Johnson
Cast: Josh Hartnett (Charlie Babbitt), Adam Godley (Raymond).
Synopsis: Charlie Babbitt is a self-centred Los Angeles-based automobile dealer and hustler, who is at war with his own life. Relationships are not Charlie’s strong suit and love is quite outside his experience. Raymond is the elder brother Charlie never knew he had - an autistic savant who has been hidden away in an institution for most of his adult life. Raymond is dysfunctional in many senses, but – as Charlie is soon to discover – also touched with a kind of stellar genius which Charlie harnesses to save his business. The two brothers embark on a rollercoaster journey together which shows Raymond a world beyond the hospital gates and Charlie the meaning of unconditional love
What the popular press had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Josh Hartnett’s riveting performance..." KATE BASSET for INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY says, "Remains faithful to the fine original script while condensing the siblings' explosively dysfunctional, slow-bonding relationship into a chamber play." PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "[Josh Hartnett] dull, undistinguished performance. It's his co-star, Adam Godley, who shows you what real acting is." MICHAEL BILLINGTON says, "Terry Johnson directs competently, and Jonathan Fensom's design even echoes the dimensions of a movie screen. But it is still a manipulative story which does less than the programme-notes to enhance our understanding of autism. Given its dependence on a movie original, the play also, unlike the fortune-sacrificing Charlie, eventually settles for half." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "I was more moved and amused by the show than the film...At the end of the day this is a neat adaptation of a Hollywood blockbuster rather than a great work of art, but I defy anyone to sit through it without experiencing both sympathetic laughter and sentimental tears." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Dan Gordon’s adaptation doesn’t add anything to Barry Levinson’s film, there’s one good reason for seeing it. That’s not the Hollywood star Josh Hartnett, though in many ways he’s as strong as Tom Cruise on the screen. It’s the British actor Adam Godley, who more than matches Dustin Hoffman’s Oscar-winning performance in 1988."
Production photo by Alistair Muir